The University of Leeds has invited Leeds-based organisations to join a project asking fundamental questions about the current and future role of the university in relation to community, regional and political contexts.

Organisations such as Opera North and East Street Arts will play a key role in the new engagement and impact project, led the University’s Cultural Institute and Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence (LITE).

Partners will join academics and students for the project to consider how themes such as the impact of Brexit on the region, the future of arts and culture in Leeds, and issues around sustainable city development can be explored through a new postgraduate module.

“Our DARE partnership between Opera North and the University of Leeds aims to shape new ways of enabling students to develop the skills fundamental to a flourishing cultural sector regionally, nationally, and internationally,” said Lesley Patrick, DARE’s collaboration manager.

“We are excited to build on our collaboration and continue to enhance student opportunities in new ways through this project,” she continued. “The cultural sector is a major player in the landscape of Leeds, and we believe culture plays a key role in answering vital questions about the identity of our city, now and in years to come.”

Having secured funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), engaged with a range of organisations across the city, including community groups and grassroots organisations.

Partners will join a network of organisations to work with a cohort of dedicated, enthusiastic, and creative postgraduate students who can bring specialist skills and new ideas to address contemporary debates, challenges and opportunities.

“We will ensure students have the skills necessary to engage with partners and apply their learning to ‘real life’ issues in the city,” explained Dr Raphael Hallett, academic lead for the project.

Postgraduate students will be given the opportunity not just to study the module, but to develop it, connecting their academic learning and research skills to professional and public audiences beyond the University.

“Students are an integral part of the team developing this module” added Dr Hallett. “They bring a unique understanding to the design process, shaping the future learning opportunities of others.”

Karen Watson, artistic director of East Street Arts, said “The industry has needed a module like this, which is both experimental and focused on ensuring students understand the context they have to operate within once out of university. It offers an excellent opportunity to build a connection between what students learn at university and how their skills are applied.”

 

Further information

For information please contact Liz Harrop, Project Manager at the Cultural Institute, University of Leeds e.j.harrop@leeds.ac.uk

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